Judd Trump beat Mark Selby by 9-4 to book his place to the Final of the 2019 International Championship in Daqing.
Based on the way both had played in earlier rounds, I expected Mark Selby to cause Judd Trump problems. Judd had scored more centuries than anyone else in the tournament, but he had also been guilty a countless unexpected errors, especially when the frames became scrappy. Scrappy frames are precisely Mark Selby’s forte. He doesn’t mind playing them and is usually very strong at winning them. This is why I thought that Mark started slightly favourite in this one. I was very wrong.
If anything though, the first mini-session only confirmed me in my opinion. Judd started with a century, but found himself 3-1 down at MSI, as Mark was able to control the frames as soon as his opponent failed to finish them off in one visit.
I’m not sure what kind of “tea” Judd had at MSI but he came back another player. The first frame after the MSI proved to be the turning point of the match. Mark looked set to go 4-1 ahead, but Judd fought hard and managed to take it on the final black. This boosted his confidence whilst it clearly depleted Mark’s confidence. From there Judd applied more and more pressure on his opponent and finished the session 5-3 up.
Judd Trump came from behind to wrest control of his International Championship semi-final from Mark Selby and lead 5-3 after the first session in Daqing.
World Champion Trump is currently riding the crest of a wave, having secured a return to the world number one spot earlier in the week with his last 16 win over Joe Perry. His opponent Selby was ousted from the top of the world rankings for the first time in four years by Ronnie O’Sullivan back in March.
Following an opening frame century run of 113 from Trump, it was then world number six Selby who seized the early initiative. Three frames on the bounce saw the Leicester cueist move 3-1 ahead at the mid-session interval.
When they returned, Trump crucially claimed the fifth frame on the final black to reduce his deficit to one. Further breaks of 60 and 97 helped him on the way to taking a further three on the bounce to secure his 5-3 cushion.
The second session pretty much started the way the first had ended. Judd looked more confident with every shot, Mark looked more a beaten man with every unsuccesful long pot or failed safety. He managed to save some pride by taking the last before the MSI, but it’s as good as it got for him. On resumption Judd promptly finished the match aided by two half centuries.
World Champion Judd Trump produced a dominant display to defeat Mark Selby 9-4 and reach the final of the International Championship in Daqing.
Trump, 29, now progresses to the final in his first appearance on the professional circuit since lifting a maiden World Championship title in May.
The Ace the Pack will go on to face either defending champion Mark Allen or Shaun Murphy in Sunday’s final over the best of 19 frames for the £175,000 top prize.
Trump, who won the inaugural International Championship back in 2012, has already secured a significant accolade this week having ensured his return to the world number one spot, following his last 16 defeat of Joe Perry.
Selby, a two-time winner of the International Championship, was deposed as world number one by Ronnie O’Sullivan, having held the position for four years consecutively.
The opening session saw Trump emerge with a 5-3 advantage, despite having trailed 3-1. A blistering display this evening allowed Trump to pull clear and ease to the line.
Trump produced an imperious spell of break building, firing in 440 unanswered points to leave three-time World Champion Selby trailing in his wake. That included consecutive breaks of 108, 97 and 116 this evening, as he claimed the first three frames to move 8-3 up.
Breaks of 50 and 59 helped Selby to take the match to the mid-session, but he still trailed 8-4. When they returned Trump swiftly finished off the match to run out a 9-4 victor.
If Judd plays that way, he will be hard to beat on Sunday.
He gave this very good post-match interview: